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Rotary Kick-start winners rescuing appliances, creating jobs

Rotary Kick-start winners rescuing appliances and creating jobs

Resource Rescue, a group saving appliances from landfill and workers from unemployment, is the inaugural winner of the Rotary Newmarket Social Enterprise $10,000 Seed Capital Kick-start Challenge, run in conjunction with the Ākina Foundation.

Ākina Foundation Chief Executive Alex Hannant said the group’s work rescuing, restoring and reusing appliances, and providing training pathways for employment was impressive.

“This project has already created three jobs in its first seven weeks of operating, with $11,000 revenue and saving 400 useful appliances from the landfill. This enterprise is making a real difference,” said Mr Hannant.

Envision New Zealand’s Matthew Luxon, on behalf of the Entrust Foundation, manages Resource Rescue. Mr Luxon said the whole team was delighted to receive the award of $10,000.

“This is just the boost we need. We started on a shoestring budget so this will help us improve our work space, allowing volunteers to help, plus will go towards a website to help with direct sales reducing the fees we incur on TradeMe sales,” Mr Luxon said.

The three-minute video entry is available here: Resource Rescue.

Mr Luxon said the enterprise is a direct result of Auckland Council’s new inorganic collection service and has had a lot of practical support from Waste Management, who have provided incubation space, the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board who provided seed funding and the Community Recycling Network who assisted in providing access to materials.

Rotary Newmarket’s President Patrick Learmonth said that competition between the six shortlisted ventures had been tough.

“Our members had a wonderful night connecting with the amazing finalists. It was a great opportunity for us to see the alignment between Rotary and social enterprise. This is a smart way to invest in communities and offers a very clear return on the investment in social, environmental and economic terms,” Mr Learmonth said.

“We hope that beyond the $10,000 for Resource Rescue, our members will help the other finalists develop their ideas and share our extensive networks,” said Mr Learmonth.

Mr Hannant said the Ākina team was excited about this new opportunity to support social enterprise thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of the Rotary Newmarket.

“We are hopeful this successful partnership will challenge other services groups to get in behind social enterprise as a innovative way to approach our complex social and environmental challenges,” said Mr Hannant.

Rotary members watched the three-minute videos submitted by the finalists on Tuesday night (10 May) then cast votes to determine the winner.

The Resource Rescue team (left to right) Matthew Luxon, Graeme Watson, James Wilson, Jerome Lobo (Stuart McKie absent)

ENDS

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